Lockdown restrictions will be eased from today to allow some leisure activities to resume.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced that people would be able to go fishing and play golf, tennis and bowling.

She also opened the way for friends and families to start socialising together again under strict conditions.

People can also travel for recreation, but the First Minister warned: “We simply do not want to see in this phase large numbers of people at tourist hotspots or local beauty spots.”

The resumption of outdoor sports will be welcomed by individuals and cash-strapped clubs across the region.

Dumfries and Galloway Golf Club is celebrating a special double with today’s return of the game plus a fabulous fundraiser smashing its target.

Members booked every available playing slot for the opening of the greens within 10 minutes of the service going online.

And they also dug deep to donate to an appeal for money to help pay running costs during the enforced shutdown of the club due to Covid-19.

An online funding page was set up following discussions with the club committee to highlight the plight and donations flooded in.

The initial target was £6,000, but it has already overtaken the £8,000 mark.

Club captain Phil Shortt said: “The response from members has been unbelievable.

“It all started when two or three members, past captains and people involved in the club for a longtime, realised that without us having visitors as income and also no functions that we’d need to raise money.

“About 60 per cent of our income is from our membership and the rest from visitors and functions.

“The club was not struggling to survive, but we still had wages and outgoings to meet.

Maxwelltown Bowling Club greenkeeper Christopher Ella prepares for the club's opening.
Maxwelltown Bowling Club greenkeeper Christopher Ella prepares for the club's opening.

“The response from the membership family at The Galloway has been unbelievable and we had a pair of football boots from Rangers to raffle as someone knows a member of the Ibrox backroom staff plus some putters were donated to us.

“A few boys who come across from Lisburn in Northern Ireland every second year to play here donated money. So between the page and donations handed in , we have raised £8,240.

“The excess will go to club funds and we will decide later what to spend it on. We have put up a little wash station for the buggies for players who have difficulty getting around the course. It’s to clean the buggies to stop infection.

Mr Shortt added that they had introduced strict rules from social distancing to only permitting two players to go out at a time and the rounds to start at intervals of 10 minutes apart.

The Daily Record has launched our NHS Heroes campaign to thank the remarkable NHS staff who are on the front lines of this coronavirus emergency.

These amazing people place our health above their own and we are inviting the public to pledge their support by placing a heart on their location in the UK.

Please join us in showing these people our gratitude as we navigate this difficult time.

NHS heroes logo.png 

To pledge your support, just:

* Go to http://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/

* Add your postcode to put a heart on the map and show your support for the heroes of the NHS


* Share the page to encourage others to show their support


He said: “The locker rooms and the club bar is closed so it will be quite a low key start with players putting golf shoes on in the car park, going out to play and then back to their cars. There are no showers and the bar is obviously shut.

“Players can play with masks on if they wish and it is up to them to take hand sanitiser with them while they play.

“The green keepers have sorted the holes so that when the ball goes into the hole it only falls an inch and players can retrieve the ball without having to touch the hole.

“It is only members who will be playing and we have been asked by the SGU (Scottish Golf Union) to track and trace (players) for six weeks to see if any members have problems.”

He agreed it was gutting to scrap the Open Day on March 22, but said: “The main thing is that everyone’s family is safe. We have had no competitions and there was no Captain’s Open Day.

"The captaincy is normally one year, but it will probably be two years this time because there’s been no competitions.

“There is a great family spirit in The Galloway and people have worked very hard plus there’s been a lot of committee meetings, one a week, and probably more in the last three months than in the last year to make sure everything is right.”